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Feline lymphoma--any experiences?

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  • Feline lymphoma--any experiences?

    We don't have a diagnosis, but I am afraid that one of my kitties has lymphoma. She is going in for a belly ultrasound next week, but has been vomiting intermittently for several weeks now and has also had intermittent diarrhea. She's lost quite a bit of weight. Bloodwork is relatively normal, but with high eosinophils.

    I know that lymphoma is not the only potential here, and I hope it's something that is not so grave. I suppose I am preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.

    Any stories or experiences to share?

  • #2
    I'm sorry I don't have a thing to say that's helpful, just that I hope it turns out to be something manageable and treatable. Poor kitty.
    “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey


    • #3
      I have lots of experience with lymphoma in cats. Its one of those diagnoses that can give you a WIDE range of survival times.

      Theres different types of lymphoma (small and large cell), and lymphoma in general can affect different areas of the body - meaning different survival time.

      GI lymphoma, with only local metastasis to regional lymph nodes has a far better outcome than something like pancreatic or renal lymphoma. I had a lymphoma kitty (who was horrible at vet clinics, so I did pred instead of chemo) and he lived over 2 years. I have personally treated some cats with early stage lymphoma with the more mild chemo protocols (cyclophosphamide, vincrisine, pred, or just oral chlorambucil and pred), some do quite well (even cured). Unfortunatley most cats arent diagnosed in early stage. On average, most times its found at mid stage, where responsiveness to prednisone/chemo's varies from good to guarged. I also know cats who have been diagnosed well into an advanced state of their disease and did not respond well to treatment, or the owners decided not to treat. Hopefully if it is lymphoma, your cat is in early stage still. I do honestly know several cats who had been "cured" and some who just did tremendously well with their remission time.

      Hopefully the ultrasound and biopsies will give you an answer. I'll keep my fingers crossed that everything comes back as just inflammatory disease I know it must be hard for you to think positive considering what you went through with your dog, but sounds like whatever this is, you have caught it early enough that treatment will probably make a difference for your kitty

      Jingles for you, your kitty and hoping for an eosinophilic IBD diagnosis!!

      Here is a good short article on low grade feline lymphoma - should answer some of your questions: http://www.vet.cornell.edu/labs/simp...cs/kiselow.pdf
      Last edited by SquishTheBunny; Dec. 24, 2012, 12:18 AM.


      • #4
        And I can pretty much guarantee you, if your cat is a holy terror in vet clinics, and elect for chemo...it will live forever. Worst cat EVER, came in for a vincristine injection every 6 weeks to "keep her in remission". Well faack, I dont think it was the chemo that kept her alive, it was her will to destroy all technicians and doctors that did. EVIL kitty. Lived at least 8 years after her original diagnosis.


        • Original Poster

          Thanks for the well-wishes, cowboymom!

          And thank you for the info, Squish. Are there questions I should be asking? Portia goes in on Thursday, and the person doing the scan is supposedly board certified (the tech couldn't quite remember, but it's a couple vets who travel to various clinics and only do ultrasound.) We have an ultrasound from this spring when we were investigating her being very, very LOUD all the time (nothing found, she's just loud) but at least we have a baseline.

          Sadly (? Ha!) she is very sweet and easy to work with at the vet...


          • #6
            Board certified in radiology is great. I think many internists are also wonderful at ultrasonography. Sounds like you are going to have a good diagnostic team working with you.

            Try not to get too anxious before you have a diagnosis, or at least a working diagnosis. Ultrasound will be able to tell you if there is higher stage lymphoma (lymph node involvement, liver/spleen mottling), or tell you there are abnormal layering to the intestines (or stomach/large bowel). The unfortunate thing about the latter is that IBD can look the same. Often times endoscopic biopsies are needed to differentiate between IBD and low grade lymphoma. If there are visible abdominal lymph nodes, those can sometimes be fine needle aspirated as well to help give support to a diagnosis.

            Jingles for a good diagnosis, and tell your cat "thank you" for being one of the rare cooperative felines. I hope she proves my theory wrong


            • Original Poster

              DX of IBD! Apparently the ultrasound was simply textbook and there isn't even a reason to biopsy. Yay!


              • #8